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Assuring Access and Projecting Power. The Navy in the New Security Environment

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In the new security environment, the U.S. militarys deployments and operations will reflect a greater strategic concern with the balance of power along the long arc of the Mediterranean-Indo-Pacific littoral than on the balance between the major continental powers on the Eurasian land mass. The balance of power on the Eurasian land mass will remain important, but it will also remain stable without significant U.S. military support or intervention because Russia, China, India, and Germany are all likely to remain secure from major attack by their landward neighbors. Russia, China, and India are all nuclear powers and likely to remain so, and therefore enjoy the ultimate security from invasion and occupation that nuclear forces provide. On the other hand, though a unified Germany no longer requires U.S. military support to defend its borders from conventional attack, it remains a non-nuclear power. Here, its membership in NATO compensates by substituting collective for national security, both protecting Germany from nuclear attack and reducing the instabilities that might result from a more independent exercise of its conventional military power. A greater strategic and military focus on the balance of power along the littoral between Gibraltar and the Sea of Japan will confront the United States with near term challenges that can already be identified with some precision, and though there is much about the distant term that is more uncertain, at least one of these near term challenges will likely remain a major strategic and military constraint. The constant theme in both the near and distant security environment is the challenge of rapidly deploying and sustaining decisive military power over intercontinental distances without assured access to bases ashore in the region of concern.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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